Thursday, December 24, 2009

Revised Release of State and Local Data for 2007

On December 24, 2009, usgovernmentspending.com updated its database with the revised data release for 2007 on State and Local Government Spending and Revenue from the US Census Bureau. The latest data updates the original 2007 data released in September 2009.
This update includes state and local data for individual states and data and aggregate spending and revenue data for all states combined.
Here is the current status of state and local government spending and revenue data.
  • State and local data up to and including 2007 is actual data reported to and published by the Census Bureau.
  • State spending and revenue data for 2008 is actual data reported to and published by the Census Bureau.
  • State tax data for 2009 is actual data reported to and published by the Census Bureau in State Government Tax Collections.
  • Data for 2008 (except state data for 2008 and state tax data for 2009) and subsequent years is "guesstimated" by projecting the change in each spending or revenue item between 2006 and 2007 forward. Maximum change is 15 percent. Minimum change is zero percent.
Caveat on "Guesstimated" Data
The crude "guesstimation" that usgovernmentspending.com applies to data after 2007 (the last year for which the US Census Bureau provides data) is a way to get a rough look at total government spending in the present year and the near future.
But in the current recession, state and local spending is probably higher than "guesstimated" and revenue is probably significantly lower than "guesstimated."
The US Census Bureau report of State Government Tax Collections for 2009, scheduled for release in March 2010, will be the first look at the effect of the recession on state government revenues.
Upcoming Data Updates
The Census Bureau will update State and Local Government Finances (i.e. spending and revenue data) for 2005 and 2006 in January 2010.
The Census Bureau will release State Government Tax Collections for 2009 in March 2010.
The Census Bureau will release State and Local Government Finances for 2008 (i.e. spending and revenue) in Summer 2010.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Data Update Schedule

Here's a table that tells you when data was last updated, and when to expect fresh updates from usgovernmentspending.com.

LAST UPDATED: 6/17/2017

MonData TypeLast Update + LinkNext Update
FebFederal Spending/Revenue gpoaccess.gov May 2017FY18 BudgetFeb 2018 FY19 Budget
FebForecast US GDP gpoaccess.govMay 20172017 ff Feb 2018CY18ff
MarActual US GDP bea.gov Apr 2017 2016 GDPMar 2018CY17
MarFederal Revenue by State irs.govApr 2017FY15 dataMar 2018 FY16 data
AprAgency Debt federalreserve.gov Apr 2017 2016 dataApr 2018CY17
AprActual US GO bea.gov Apr 2017 2016 GOApr 2018CY17
JuneState Spending/Revenue census.gov June 2016FY14 dataJun 2017FY15 data
JuneActual State GDP bea.gov May 20172016 dataJune 20182017 data
JuneMedicare Trustees Report cms.govJune 20162016 reportJune 20172017 report
JuneOASDI Trustees Report ssa.govJune 20162016 reportJune 20172017 report
OctState Quarterly Taxes census.gov Sep 2016FY16 dataOct 2017 FY17 data
OctFederal Outlays, Receipts, Deficit treas.govOct 2015FY15 dataOct 2016FY16 data
DecState and Local Spending/Revenue census.gov Dec 2016FY14 dataNov 2017 FY15 data
DecUS, State Population census.gov Dec 20167/16 data Dec 20177/17 data

Update: State Data for FY 2008

On December 12, 2009, usgovernmentspending.com updated its database with the latest data release on State Government Spending and Revenue from the US Census Bureau. The latest data is for fiscal year 2008. Previously the data displayed for 2008 was "guesstimated" based on a crude projection of spending and revenue levels from 2007.

This includes data for individual states and data and aggregate spending and revenue data for all states.

Here is the current status of state and local government spending and revenue data.

  • Data for state and local governments up to and including 2007 is actual data reported to and published by the Census Bureau.
  • State government spending and revenue data for 2008 is actual data reported to and published by the Census Bureau.
  • State government tax data for 2008 is actual data reported to and published by the Census Bureau.
  • State data for 2009 (except state tax data for 2009) and subsequent years is "guesstimated" by projecting the change in each spending or revenue item between 2007 and 2008 forward. Maximum change is 15 percent. Minimum change is zero percent.
  • Local government and combined state and local data for 2008 and subsequent years is "guesstimated" by projecting the change in each spending or revenue item between 2006 and 2007 forward. Maximum change is 15 percent. Minimum change is zero percent.

Caveat on "Guesstimated" Data

The crude "guesstimation" that usgovernmentspending.com applies to data after 2007 (the last year for which the US Census Bureau provides data) is a way to get a rough look at total government spending in the present year and the near future.

But in the current recession state and local spending is probably higher than "guesstimated" and revenue is probably significantly lower than "guesstimated."

The US Census Bureau report of State Government Tax Collections for 2009, scheduled for release in March 2010, will be the first look at the effect of the recession on state government revenues.

Upcoming Data Updates

The Census Bureau will update State and Local Government Finances (i.e. spending and revenue data) for 2005, 2006, and 2007 in December 2009.

The Census Bureau will release State Government Tax Collections for 2009 in March 2010.

The Census Bureau will release State and Local Government Finances for 2008 (i.e. spending and revenue) in Summer 2010.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Update to State and Local Data: FY 2007

On October 4, 2009, usgovernmentspending.com updated its database with the latest data release on State and Local Government Spending and Revenue from the US Census Bureau. The latest data is for fiscal year 2007. Previously the data displayed for 2007 was "guesstimated" based on a crude projection of spending and revenue levels from 2006.
This includes data for individual states and data and aggregate spending and revenue data for all states.
Here is the current status of state and local government spending and revenue data.
  • Data up to and including 2007 is actual data reported to and published by the Census Bureau.
  • State tax data for 2008 is actual data reported to and published by the Census Bureau in State Government Tax Collections.
  • Data for 2008 (except state tax data for 2008) and subsequent years is "guesstimated" by projecting the change in each spending or revenue item between 2006 and 2007 forward. Maximum change is 15 percent. Minimum change is zero percent.
Caveat on "Guesstimated" Data
The crude "guesstimation" that usgovernmentspending.com applies to data after 2007 (the last year for which the US Census Bureau provides data) is a way to get a rough look at total government spending in the present year and the near future.
But in the current recession state and local spending is probably higher than "guesstimated" and revenue is probably significantly lower than "guesstimated."
The US Census Bureau report of State Government Tax Collections for 2009, scheduled for release in March 2010, will be the first look at the effect of the recession on state government revenues.
Upcoming Data Updates
The Census Bureau will update State and Local Government Finances (i.e. spending and revenue data) for 2005, 2006, and 2007 in November 2009.
The Census Bureau will release State Government Finances for 2008 (i.e. spending and revenue) in late Fall 2009.
The Census Bureau will release State Government Tax Collections for 2009 in March 2010.
The Census Bureau will release State and Local Government Finances for 2008 (i.e. spending and revenue) in Summer 2010.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

OMB Mid-Session Review

On August 25, 2009, The US Office of Management and Budget issued a Mid-Session Review of the Federal Budget. It showed sharply higher spending and lower revenues for FY 2010 than published in the full budget published in May 2009, as follows:

Office of Management and Budget Mid-Session Review ($ billion)
OMB Estimates of Federal BudgetFY 2009FY 2010
Receipts (May)2,1572,332
Receipts (August)2,0742,264
Difference-83-68
Outlays (May)3,9983,591
Outlays (August)3,5633,766
Difference-345+175
Deficit (May)1,8411,258
Deficit (August)1,5801,502
Difference-261+244

The new estimates show a deterioration in receipts, and a sharp decline in the expected spending for the remainder of FY 2009. But FY 2010 spending is expected to be higher, thus decreasing the deficit for 2009 and increasing it for 2010.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Update: State and Local Spending

Up till now, usgovernmentspending.com and usgovernmentrevenue.com have shown state and local spending and revenue prior to 1992 as combined state-and-local numbers. The Census Bureau provides tables of state-and-local spending and revenue in its annual Statistical Abstract and in the retrospective Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970.

But the Census Bureau also publishes in those publications tables of separate state spending and revenue and local spending and revenue. usgovernmentspending.com has now loaded the separate state and local spending from 1902 to 1991 into usgovernmentspending.com. usgovernmentrevenue.com has now loaded the separate state and local revenue from 1902 to 1991 into usgovernmentrevenue.com.

There are, however, gaps in the record. For about 15 years between 1971 and 1984 there are no detailed records of spending by function broken down into state and local separately. And between 1971 and 1991 there are no records of utility spending and revenue broken down into state and local separately. In addition, of course, the Census Bureau only reports for even-years between 1932 and 1952, and prior to 1932 only reports for 1902, 1913, 1922, and 1927. So there is quite a lot of "interpolation."

You can tell which numbers are "actual" and which are "interpolated" in the tables of annual spending/revenue under the NUMBERS tab. Actual numbers are shown in blue and bold. Interpolated numbers are blue, bold, and italic.

Monday, May 11, 2009

May 11 Updates: Full US Budget

On May 11, 2009, the US Government Printing Office published the full US budget for FY 2010, including the customary Historical Tables, the main data source for usgovernmentspending.com.

We have now updated usgovernmentspending.com with the new FY10 data. This means that:

  • The home page charts and tables are now updated with the latest data on spending, deficits, and US federal debt using numbers from the FY10 budget.
  • The Numbers page, or "classic" home page, now shows detailed spending for all the great heads of federal expenditure using numbers from the FY10 budget.
  • The Budget page now shows updated charts of the first Obama budget.
  • Numbers for FY 2008 are now the actual numbers, replacing budgeted numbers, as reported in Table 3.2 of the Historical Tables.
  • Revenues at usgovernmentrevenue.com now include the latest FY10 numbers.

UPDATED: Final major task of the FY10 budget update is complete. The Outlays, about 4,000 line items from the Public Database outlays.csv, are now loaded up for FY10.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Still No Historical Tables

Today, May 7, 2009, the Obama administration released a budget Appendix. It contains the usual breakdown of spending by federal agency.

But usgovernmentspending.com will not have updated FY10 numbers until the Historical Tables are published.  The Historical Tables include Table 3.2, which has federal expenditure by subfunction, and Table 4.1, outlays, about 4,000 items of federal expenditure.

Here is the state of play on the FY10 Federal Budget so far (see here and here):

  • A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America’s Promise - Published 2/22
  • Analytical Perspectives
  • Historical Tables
  • Appendix - Published 5/4
  • Updated Summary Tables
Thanks to everyone for your patience.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Let's Play Policy Analyst

How well do you know your government programs? How many billion did the US governments--federal, state, and loca--spend on education in 1953?

Thought so. But but you can test and hone your knowledge with the new usgovernmentspending.com Policy Analyst game.

Go ahead. Imagine you are a policy analyst from the Brookings Institution, or maybe the American Enterprise Institute. See if you can grab all the biggest programs for your side.

The one who dies with the most programs wins. Right?

Go ahead and test your skill. Click here to start.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New Home Page

We've created a new home page for usgovernmentspending.com.

Why? Because usgovernmentspending.com is not just for policy wonks but for ordinary Americans concerned about where their money goes.

The new home page features three charts and a small table about government spending, federal, state, and local, in the United States:

  • A bar chart of total government spending in the US centering on the current year
  • A pie chart showing how federal, state, and local spending divide up the spending pie
  • A pie chart showing the division of the economy into private sector and public sector
  • A table showing total government spending and debt in the US over five years

If you like, you can copy the charts and save them on your own computer.

But what if you are a conservative and you like the old ways at usgovernmentspending.com? What if you like a comforting wall of numbers instead of a bunch of charts? No problem. Just click here and you’ll get to the “classic” usgovernmentspending.com home page.

On the usgovernmentspending.com main menu across the top of every page, we now have the following tabs:

  • HOME - the new home page
  • NUMBERS - the “classic” home page
  • CHARTS - the time-series chart page (also has download feature)
  • BUDGET - headline charts on the current federal budget
  • FEATURE - a fact sheet for Tea Party enthusiasts
  • DOWNLOAD - the gateway to data downloading at usgovernmentspending.com

If you’d like to comment on this change, please use the comments section below, or the Leave a Comment link in the right column.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New "Tea Party" Page

The "Tea Party" movement has appeared out of nowhere in the past two months. Its principal concern seems to be taxes and a fear about what the huge deficits and bailouts will do to peoples’ lives.

As a special service usgovernmentspending.com has created a Tea Party Fact Sheet with charts and links that provide context for today’s pressing tax and spending issues.

After all, usgovernmentspending.com has over a century of spending data available for anyone, anytime, for free.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New "Quick Chart"

Now usgovernmentspending.com has a Quick Chart feature, so you can get a time-series chart of government spending quickly and easily. Here's how it works.

  1. Click the icon when it's displayed on any line of spending.
  2. You'll get a 20-year chart of government spending—federal, state, and local—for that function.

That's it.

Then you can go to work to customize the chart for your needs. For instance:

  • You can add additional data series.
  • You can change the start year and end year.
  • You can switch from displaying “$ billion” to percent of GDP.
  • You can switch from color to black-and-white

Go ahead. It's your choice.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What's Included in "Welfare?"

From Daniela, the following question:
I am trying to figure out what exactly do you include in your "welfare" section. Would you mind elaborating as to what is included in this section?
The simple answer is: Go to usgovernmentspending.com and turn on codes. It's one of the settings in the Units dropdown. Or click here.
When you select codes you can see the description of each code by hovering the mouse over the code.
But here are the codes used in the Welfare section, with their descriptions alongside so you don't have to go click here.  The numeric codes, e.g. "603", are federal;  the codes starting with a letter, e.g. "E77", are state and local.

Code Description
603Unemployment compensation
604Housing assistance
605Food and nutrition assistance
609Other income security
B22Federal Intergovernmental - Employment Security Administration
B50Federal Intergovernmental - Housing and Community Development
E22Current Operations - Social Insurance Administration
E50Current Operations - Housing and Community Development
E75Current Operations - Public Welfare, Vendor Payments for Other Purposes
E77Current Operations - Public Welfare Institutions
E79Current Operations - Public Welfare - Other
F22Construction - Social Insurance Administration
F50Construction - Housing and Community Development
F75Construction - Public Welfare, Vendor Payments for Other Purposes
F77Construction - Public Welfare Institutions
F79Construction - Public Welfare - Other
G22Other Capital Outlay - Social Insurance Administration
G50Other Capital Outlay - Housing and Community Development
G75Other Capital Outlay - Public Welfare, Vendor Payments for Other Purposes
G77Other Capital Outlay - Public Welfare Institutions
G79Other Capital Outlay - Public Welfare - Other
J67Assistance and Subsidies – Public Welfare, Federal Categorical Assistance Programs
J68Assistance and Subsidies – Public Welfare, Cash Assistance Programs – Other
Y05Unemployment Compensation - Benefit Payments
Y06Unemployment Compensation - Extended and Special Payments
Y14Workers Compensation - Benefit Payments
Y53Other In Trust - Benefit Payment
You can find out what's in the other usgovernmentspending.com categories by clicking here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

April 4 Update: Corrections and Welfare Issue

On March 22, usgovernmentspending.com user James filed the following report:

I have noticed what appears to be an anomaly in the S&L data.. For example, in the "Protection" series, inflation adjusted S&L spending jumps from $55 bn to $118 bn between 1991 and 1992. Healthcare increases from $116 bn to $212 bn. At the same time, welfare spending drops for these years from $208 bn to $114 bn. Most other indicators for S&L spending between 1991 and 1992 also show uncharacteristically large changes, although not of these magnitudes. I suspect there is something wrong with the data for those years.
I found that there are two problems here that arise out of a "seam" in the data, the transition between a fine-grained US Census Bureau dataset that starts in 1992 and the table "State and Local Governments -- Summary of Finances" that appears in the annual Statistical Abstract.
  1. Before 1992, the Census Bureau doesn't list "Corrections." So there's a hole in Protection.
  2. Before 1992, the Census Bureau lumps all welfare--cash, social services, and health care--as Public Welfare. At usgovernmentspending.com we like to keep health care separate from welfare. So before 1992 the Welfare category suddenly includes a bunch of health care.
To solve these problems we have made the following changes to usgovernmentspending.com:
  1. We've created a new data view called "census." This new view arranges data pretty well according to the categorization in the Census Bureau tables published in the annual Statistical Abstract entitled "State and Local Governments -- Summary of Finances" and "All Governments -- Revenue and Expenditure, by Level of Government." This new view will experience a minimum of jumps and "seams."
  2. We've added views to the data-series Chart function. Up till now you could only chart the "default" view.
  3. We've unpacked the census category "Public Welfare" by subtracting the Federal line item for payments to Medicaid vendors. There is data on Medicaid payments to states in the president's budget's historical data Outlays spreadsheet going back to 1962. In the default usgovernmentspending.com this line item will be counted as health care. In the "census" view it will be counted as welfare.
  4. We've found a line item for Corrections in the Statistical Abstract "All Governments" table at the state and local levels. This item continues in the pre-1970 Bicentennial Edition, but only at the state level. We have done a bit of massaging and produced a Corrections data series from 1902 to 1991.
  5. We've also cleaned up some holes in the Other Spending category so that the numbers add up properly.
Many thanks to James for identifying the problem at the "seam." Oh yes. We are also adding this blog to the usgovernmentspending.com menu system.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Propose a Feature

You can use the comments below to propose an improvement to usgovernmentspending.com.

Better still, email me at chrischantrill at gmail.com.


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To file a bug please email me direct at chrischantrill at gmail.com. Then I can send you a $5 gift card and thank you for your help!

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World War II US Defense Spending

DURING WORLD War II defense spending in the United States exploded from two percent of GDP in 1940 to a peak of 42 percent in 1945 and then back down to seven percent by 1947.
But the data series of “Federal Government Expenditure, by Function: 1902 to 1970” in the Census Bureau’s Historical Statistics of the United States: From Colonial Times to 1970 only tabulates federal spending every two years: 1940, 1942, 1944, etc.
Fortunately, the Executive Branch budget documents published by the US Government Printing Office at gpoaccess.gov include a set of historical tables, including Table 3.1 — Outlays by Superfunction and Function: 1940–2012. This table includes spending for national defense for each year of World War II. The problem is that the numbers in Table 3.1 don’t match up with the Census Bureau numbers in Historical Statistics.


Comparison of World War II Defense Spending
(millions of dollars)
Spending Item194019411942194319441945194619471948
Census Bureau Numbers for “National defense and international relations”
Total 1,59026,555 85,503 50,461 16,075
Military services only 1,567 22,633 74,670 42,677 10,642
Executive Branch budget numbers in Table 3.1
National Defense 1,660 6,435 25,658 66,699 79,143 82,965 42,681 12,808 9,105

You can see the problem. Not only does the Census Bureau not include the odd years, but the numbers don’t agree with the Executive Branch budget.
We chose to fill in the missing numbers in the the Census Bureau dataset by making them track the trajectory of the numbers in the Executive Branch dataset. Here are the results:


Construction of World War II Defense Spending Dataset
(millions of dollars)
Spending Item194019411942194319441945194619471948
Census Bureau numbers interpolated with numbers from Executive Branch dataset
Total expenditure 10,061 14,161 35,549 82,980 100,520 106,877 66,534 41,403 35,592
Total defense & intl 1,590 6,696 26,555 69,884 85,503 92,016 50,461 19,560 16,075
Military only 1,567 5,875 22,633 60,882 74,670 80,617 42,677 13,888 10,642
Executive Branch budget numbers in Table 3.1
Total federal outlays 9,468 13,653 35,137 78,555 91,304 92,712 55,232 34,496 29,764
National defense 1,660 6,435 25,658 66,699 79,143 82,965 42,681 12,808 9,105

We have interpolated values for national defense and for total federal spending in the odd years by translating the shape of the Executive Branch data into the Census Bureau dataset.






World War I US Defense Spending

DURING WORLD War I defense spending in the United States exploded from less than one percent of GDP in 1915 to a peak of 14 percent in 1919 and then back down to one percent by 1923.
But the data series of “Series Y 605-637. Federal Government Expenditure, by Function: 1902 to 1970” in the Census Bureau’s Historical Statistics of the United States: From Colonial Times to 1970 only tabulates federal spending for 1913 and 1922, completely missing out on the years of World War I.
But the Census Bureau does publish annual federal government expenditures in another table, “Series Y 457-465. Outlays of the Federal Government: 1789-1970 Series Y 466-471. Outlays of the Federal Government, by Major Function: 1900-1939.” The problem is that the numbers in the two Census Bureau tables don'’t match up.


Comparison of World War I Defense Spending
(millions of dollars)
Spending Item1913191419151916191719181919192019211922
Census Bureau Numbers from “Series Y 605-637. Federal Government Expenditure, by Function: 1902 to 1970”
Total Spending 970        3,763
Total national defense 250         875
Military services only 245         864
Interest 23         988
Census Bureau Numbers from “Series Y 457-465. Outlays of the Federal Government: 1789-1970.”
Series Y 466-471. Outlays of the Federal Government, by Major Function: 1900-1939.
Updated: 4/15/2015
Total Spending 715 725 746 713 1,954 12,66218,4486,357 5,0583,285
Major national security2932982973056027,11013,5483,9972,581929
International affairs and finance5 5 5 6 5914,7483,5004358310
Veterans services and benefits175173176171171235324332646686
Interest 23 23 23 23 25 198616 1,024 749669

You can see the problem. The entire war spending effort is missing from the data series that we are using. And in 1913 and 1922 they don'’t match up.
We chose to fill in the missing numbers by matching the spending numbers from “Outlays of the Federal Government, by Major Function: 1900-1939” to the numbers on the incomplete “Federal Government Expenditure by Function: 1902-1970.” then track the trajectory of the numbers in the Outlays dataset. Here are the results:


Construction of World War I Defense Spending Dataset
(millions of dollars)
Spending Item1913191419151916191719181919192019211922
Numbers interpolated from Outlay table shown in italic. Updated: 4/15/2015
Total expenditure 970 1,005 1,051 1,042 2,308 13,04118,8526,785 5,5113,763
Total defense and intl 250 2532502581,43811,80116,9894,3722,602875
Military only 245 2482452515467,05313,4893,9362,518864
Interest 23 23 22 22 24 1966141,022996 988

We have interpolated values for national defense and for total federal spending by applying the entire Outlays data items to the Expenditures table by adjusting all numbers so that they match the numbers in the Expenditure table for 1913 and 1922.

UPDATED: 4/15/2015

All About Intergovernmental Transfers

Federal spending numbers at usgovernmentspending.com come from the OMB budget. They include direct spending on programs and also grants to states and local governments. State and local spending numbers come from the US Census Bureau. They are "direct spending" net of monies transferred to other governments.

Monies transferred to other governments are called intergovernmental transfers. To avoid double-counting at usgovernmentspending.com we show a “Gov. Xfer” column. It represents intergovernmental transfers from the federal government to the states and local governments. For instance, Medicaid (included under Health Care) is a joint federal-state program in which the federal government reimburses state governments for 50 percent or more of their expenses. The federal government's outlay for Medicaid includes monies directly spent by the federal government and monies sent to the states as grants and then spent by the states on Medicaid.

You can see that Health Care has the biggest “Gov. Xfer” number.

The intergovernmental transfer numbers used in the Numbers table are all Census Bureau “B” codes, as described in Census Bureau's Government Finance & Employment Classification Manual. For example, Census Bureau code “B01” is an intergovernmental transfer for “Air Transportation (Airports)”. The numbers are rolled up to provide the totals you can see at the top level. However, we have not used the Census Bureau numbers to report the intergovernmental transfers. Instead we have used OMB's Historical Table 12.3—Total Outlays for Grants to State and Local Governments, by Function, Agency, and Program.

If you drill down two levels (using the [+] controls) you will uncover the specific Census Bureau “B” spending codes used to compute the “rolled-up” intergovernmental transfer numbers. Each code is a link to the Census Bureau page that lists codes.

In summary, usgovernmentspending.com shows federal spending amounts as published by OMB that include monies transferred to other governments, but shows state and local spending as "direct spending" net of transfers to other governments as published by the US Census Bureau. Total spending is calculated as the sum of OMB federal spending plus Census Bureau state and local spending less "intergovernmental transfers" as published by the US Census Bureau.

Of course, intergovernmental transfers affect the revenue side as well as the spending side. You can see intergovernmental transfers on the revenue details page here. Intergovernmental Transfers equal (Total Revenue less Total Direct Revenue) at the state and local level.

UPDATED 10/19/16

Federal Spending at the Agency Code Level

IF YOU DRILL down below the federal subfunction level you can see federal spending at the agency code level. This spending information is obtained from Outlays, an Excel spreadsheet (4.5MB) that contains federal spending numbers classified by department, bureau, and agency code for FY 1962 through FY 2008. There are about 4,000 line items at the agency code level. The file can be downloaded from Budget of the United States Government: Public Budget Database Fiscal Year 2008 in xls, csv, or zip format. Only spending line items in excess of $0.05 billion are displayed atusgovernmentspending.com.

Table of Data Sources by Year

THE FOLLOWING table specifies the source of government spending and revenue data for each range of years for which usgovernmentspending.com provides government spending data and usgovernmentrevenue.com provides government revenue data.

See below the table for additional information on sources.

UPDATED: 12/28/2016

Sources of Spending and Revenue Datafor usgovernmentspending.com
YearFederal Spending and Revenue Intergovernmental Transfer State Spending and Revenue Local Spending and Revenue
2021 thru 2016budgeted
US Budget Historical Tables FY 2017 (pdf) Table 2.1 (xls) Table 2.4 (xls) Table 2.5 (xls) Table 3.2 (xls) Table 5.1 (xls) Table 7.1 (xls) Table 10.1 (xls) Table 12.3 (xls)
guesstimated
by usgovernmentspending.com
2015
and
2015
actual
from Historical Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 5.1, 7.1, 10.1 in most recent federal budget

guesstimated
by usgovernmentspending.com
2013
thru 1992
actual

from Historical Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 5.1, 7.1, 10.1 in most recent federal budget

actual
US Census Bureau State and Local Government Finances:
2013-14 2012-13 2011-12 2010-11 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07 2005-06 2004-05 2003-04 2002-03 2001-02
etc.
1991 thru 1986actual

from Historical Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 5.1, 7.1, 10.1 in most recent federal budget

budgeted
from Historical Tables in relevant federal budgets.  See here for pre-FY96 budgets
actual
US Census Bureau Statistical Abstract of the United States
1993, Table: 474
etc.
1985 thru 1971actual
from Historical Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 5.1, 7.1, 10.1 in most recent federal budget
actual
US Census Bureau Statistical Abstract of the United States
1993, Table: 474
etc.
1970 thru 1962actual
from Historical Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 5.1, 7.1, 10.1 in most recent federal budget
actual
US Census Bureau Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970
1961 thru 1952 actual
US Census Bureau Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970
1951 thru 1902 actual; and interpolated
US Census Bureau Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970
See also: World War II Spending and: World War I Spending
1901 thru 1891 actual
US Census Bureau Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970
interpolated
US Census Bureau Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970
and
Historical Statistics of the United States: 1789 - 1945

1890
actual
US Census Bureau Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970
actual
Historical Statistics of the United States: 1789 - 1945
1889 thru 1820 actual
US Census Bureau Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970
interpolatedMichael Mann, The Sources of Social Power, Volume 2, p.363
1829 thru 1792 actual
US Census Bureau Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970
none

Additional Sources

You can access the budgeted federal data prior to FY96 used in usfederalbudget.us here:
Budget federal data down to the "account level" is extracted from the Outlays and the Budget Authority files in the Public Budget Database in each federal budget.

Federal data prior to 1962 is extracted from “Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970.” You can download the relevant extracts in a pdf file here or from the Federal Reserve Archive here.

State and local data from 1902 to 1970 is extracted from the US Census Bureau’s “Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970.” You can download the relevant extracts in a pdf file here.

State and local data for 1890 is extracted from the US Census Bureau’s “Historical Statistics of the United States, 1789 - 1945.” You can download the relevant extracts in a pdf file here.

State and local data for 1891-1901 is interpolated from the 1902 Census Bureau data and the 1890 Census Bureau data.

State and local data for 1830-1889 is interpolated from decadal estimates in Michael Mann, The Sources of Social Power, Volume 2, page 363.

See also Federal Budget Data Sources.

Monday, March 30, 2009

How We Got the Data for usgovernmentspending.com

THE government spending tables on this site aggregate all government spending in the United States of America by fiscal year organized by government function.
Most of the data is actual government spending as reported by the Office of Management and Budget or the United States Census Bureau. But there is also interpolated data for the years not covered by the data sources. In addition, we have included budgeted and estimated spending as well. We have used color and italics to tell you the source of each item of spending.
Here is the key:
  • Actual reported government spending is shown in blue text
  • Interpolated data filling in for missing years in the source records is shown in blue italic text
  • Budgeted spending is shown in normal text
  • Estimated spending is shown in italic text
  • “Guesstimated” spending, i.e. future state and local spending projected by usgovernmentspending.com, is shown in red italic text
You can use controls on the table to change the year or to drill down to view more detailed spending information.

Data Sources

The government spending information is obtained from several sources of data.

Federal spending since 1962 is obtained from a spreadsheet file Table 3.2 - Outlays by Function and Subfunction in Budget of the United States Government published by the Executive Office of the President of the United States. It contains actual historical federal government spending from 1962 to the fiscal year ending before the current budget, and budgeted and estimated spending the current fiscal year and out five years.

Federal revenue since 1962 is obtained from spreadsheet files Table 2.1 - Receipts by Source: 1934–2016,
Table 2.4 - Composition of Social Insurance and Retirement Receipts and of Excise Taxes: 1940–2016, and Table 2.5 - Composition of “Other Receipts”: 1940–2016.

State and local government spending from 1992 is obtained from tables of state and local government spending published annually by the United States Census Bureau. For instance, the data for fiscal year 2004 is available as a zip file: State by Level of Government - Comma Delimited.

State and local government spending from 1962 to 1991 is obtained from tables of state and local government spending in the Statistical Abstract of the United States published by the United States Census Bureau.

Federal, state, and local government spending prior to 1962 is obtained from “Series Y 605-637. Federal Government Expenditure, by Function: 1902 to 1970” and from “Series Y 682-709. State and Local Government Expenditure, by Function: 1902 to 1970.” These are tables included in Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970 published by the United States Census Bureau.

This information is given in tabular form in Government Spending Data: Sources by Year.

Guesstimated Spending

The federal government provides budgetary data for the current year and the next year. It also provides estimated budgetary data for the following four years.
But the Census Bureau data on state and local spending is historical data only. It does not include any information on state and local budgets or on state and local government spending projections.
So at usgovernmentspending.com we have massaged the recent historical data to come up with a “guesstimate” of future state and local spending.
The method used is to take the average change in spending for the last four years of historical data and estimate the percentage change in spending that this represents, limiting the percentage change to plus 20 percent and zero. We then apply that percentage for each year after the last year in the Census Bureau data.
You will notice that this method has its problems. The line “All Other Spending” for states goes negative in the out years, because the rate of increase in individual programs presently exceeds the rate of increase in overall spending. That is what you call a “budget crisis.”

Interpolated Spending

There is published data available from government sources for all years from 1952 to the present. Between 1932 and 1950 the data in “Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970” is tabulated only for even numbered years. Before 1932 there is data given only for 1902, 1913, 1922, and 1927. For the missing years we have interpolated data from the information given in the published years.